Heart Attacks and Cardiac Events Caused by Car Accidents
There is some evidence that suggests–and some people who do observe–that victims, after a car accident, will suffer heart attacks. But the causal connection between car accidents and heart attacks is still somewhat controversial, and many people—including juries—are dubious of any connection at all. But science tells us that in fact, there is a solid, known connection between the two, that can’t be ignored.
Why do Juries Doubt the Connection
Heart attacks are often looked at dubiously by a jury for a few reasons.
The first reason is that we are told that heart attacks are caused by a wide number of things—diet, genetics, genetic diseases, or age, amongst others—but trauma or accidents are rarely one of the causes that media outlets or medical professionals ever mention, when discussing the causes of a heart attack.
The second reason is that people who suffer heart attacks after an accident, often don’t suffer them immediately after the accident. Some may have the attack hours, or even days, after the accident, and that gap in time is just enough for a defendant to argue to a jury that the heart attack and the accident are unrelated.
The third major reason is that the elderly are the population most likely to suffer heart attacks after an accident—and they’re also the population most likely to have pre-existing conditions that may make them more susceptible to heart disease. Thus, the Defendant in an injury case has an easy avenue to argue that the car accident did not cause the heart attack.
There is a Connection
The Boston University School of Medicine in a study found that those who were over the age of 65 were more likely to suffer heart attacks 30-180 days after an accident. They were even more likely to suffer a heart attack than were pedestrians who were hit by a car.
Other case reports document cardiac events in victims from just days, to even years after, a car accident. In almost every case, the victim had no cardiac symptoms or diagnosis, immediately after the accident.
These events are often not caused by physical impact in the accident, but by the stress on the mind and body after the impact, and in dealing with the pain, disability, hospitalization, or life stress (such as the inability to pay bills) that come in the days after the accident.
A Variety of Heart Related Medical Problems
Heart attacks aren’t the only heart related injuries that happen after an accident. Aortic ruptures, cardiac arrests, heart ruptures, and disruptions in the heart’s electrical rhythm, sometimes called A-fib, are also common. All of these conditions and events, if survivable, carry years of medical treatment and monitoring—an element of damages that a jury needs to be made aware of, when there is a cardiac event after a car accident.
Did you suffer a heart attack, cardiac arrest or other trauma after an accident? Call the Boston personal injury lawyers at The Law Office of Joseph Linnehan, Jr. today at 617-275-4200 for help.